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James Conner on defense against Virginia Tech? Paul Chryst says, "We'll see."

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

James Conner made an interesting statement earlier in the week saying that he will play on defense against Virginia Tech. But while the Pitt running back seemed pretty sure he would see his first defensive action of the year, head coach Paul Chryst seemed less certain.

In the weekly ACC teleconference, Chryst was noncommital. "You know, we'll see if it happens," said the Pitt head coach. "Certainly like every week, he's worked at it, and just kind of depending on how the game plays out."

So, yeah.

It's funny, but the first thing I thought of when I saw Conner's initial quote was that Chryst can't be all that happy with him coming out and declaring what he's going to do. Not only was the element of surprise gone, but Conner's statement as relayed by the Trib offered no such disclaimer about the flow of the game dictating what might happen - he only said that he'd play.

It's worth pointing out that, along the lines of element of surprise, Chryst's statement could merely be trying to mask the game plan a little. It's quite possible that the plan is to get Conner into the game on defense regardless of circumstance.

If it's not just a cover up, Chryst's stance makes much more sense - that Conner will be used if there's a time and place for it.

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